1. Adrienne Whitewood winning Collection (Established). For the second consecutive year, talented Rotorua based designer, Adrienne Whitewood who has the retail store AHU has again clinched the Established category of Miromoda MFDA competition - Image credit Masanori Udagawa.


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2014 Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Awards Competition

First time entrant, Kharl Williams Wirepa also of Rotorua won the Emerging section as well as Supreme winner with his collection entitled The Art of Fame.

From Copenhagen with a photo shoot in Paris entry, Australia’s Gold Coast and Byron Bay, and provincial towns across New Zealand, Miromoda the Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board has taken its annual fashion design competition from flax roots in 2008 to an international level in 2014.

Founding Director of New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) and head Miromoda judge, Dame Pieter Stewart admitted part way through the competition, she was struggling to select who wouldn’t be going to NZFW as opposed to who would be.

“I’ve been blown away with the fantastic talent and the standard this competition now attracts.”

Miromoda Co-founder and organiser, Ata Te Kanawa says she is relieved judging is not part of her role but was caught off guard when Stewart advised she was not prepared to go back on any of her selections.

This meant selection of the usual 8 designers from the competition held at the Oriental Bay Copthorne Hotel over the weekend, blew out to 12 for the 2014 Miromoda Showcase at NZFW in late August.

“I know it’s probably a good problem but it’s logistically really challenging to have more designers as it means more of everything at NZFW like a 100 plus crew back stage alone,” says Te Kanawa.

Along with fellow judges, Jack Yan, Editor of Lucire Magazine, and Anthony Morsinkhof, the trio were adamant each of the 12 designers heading to Auckland in August had been selected on deserved merit.

From its inception in 2008 and first showing at NZFW in 2009, the Miromoda Showcase has been billed as a big ticket show on the NZFW programme since 2012. Te Kanawa says the design talent and quality under the Miromoda brand had grown incrementally with each year “and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.”

2014 Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Awards Competition

For the second consecutive year, talented Rotorua based designer, Adrienne Whitewood who has the retail store AHU has again clinched the Established category of Miromoda MFDA competition.


Since 2011, the Miromoda Showcase attracts an audience of 800 seated and 200 standing for its 25- minute show at NZFW. In 2013, two indigenous Australian designers were invited to showcase. In 2015, Miromoda plans to host the inaugural Global Indigenous Fashion Conference.But in 2014, Miromoda also plans to launch its online store that will include exclusive items by invited designers from the Miromoda stables, on the eve of its NZFW Showcase.

Although NZ Fashion Week has changed from being an exclusive trade affair to now attracting huge public traffic, the presence of international media and buyers provides invaluable global exposure for Miromoda designers.

Former entrant, Sarah-Jane Abraham of Surface Too Deep swimwear says “fashion shows have become more an experience for targeted markets than trade nowadays but with the increase of online retail, shows can result in swift sales directly to eager customers.”

Te Kanawa says even before the Miromoda Showcase event, the NZFW media machine “ticks down the minutes from May to August and its been said that people in Auckland want a ticket to NZFW more than life.”

In the meantime, the Miromoda Fashion Design Awards Competition will proudly remain an annual Wellington event, working closely with local model agency Kirsty Bunny Management and top Wellington Photographer, Masanori Udagawa.

For Media enquiries contact
Ata Te Kanawa: 04 473 0557 or 0275543382

Results: 2014 Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Awards Competition

Kharl Williams Wirepa (Rotorua)

Adrienne Whitewood (Rotorua)
Kylie Mangan (Queensland)
Amber Whitecliffe (Auckland)
Pia Naera-Scott (Auckland)

Kharl Williams Wirepa (Rotorua)
Mitchell Vincent (Hamilton)
Hohepa Thompson (Byron Bay)
Sharmaine Moke (Auckland)
Massey Williams (Christchurch)
Tasmyn Roach (Tauranga)

Sofia Aroha (Wellington)
Maree McLean (Copenhagen)

All Images to be credited: By Masanori Udugawa 

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